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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Does anyone know what kind of bite this is? Please help

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Author Topic: Does anyone know what kind of bite this is? Please help
bewell1
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Hi all - I have a past history of Lyme disease and some confections. I was up in southeast Wisconsin yesterday in a garden and it was 100 degrees so I was wearing shorts. A few hours later had intense itching on the back of my leg and ankles. And I have these small red bites that are intensely itchy. When the itching subsides they seem to get small.

Does anyone know what kind of bite this is? I'm concerned that it could be flea bites. I'd appreciate any insight. if so, would you treat flea bites?

Here's an image- I think I figured out how to post!

http://i68.tinypic.com/jkwvb7.jpg

 -

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TNT
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I would have to say from looking at the picture, one thing we can deduct for sure is that Chicago summers are very short, ha ha.

Sorry, that was not a fair welcome.

Welcome to Lymenet!

It's really hard to say what kind of insect it was. I know that many biting insects can harbor and transmit disease, so definitely continue to monitor them.

At the very least, I would soak the bite sites in antiseptic iodine!

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TF
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It is possible that these are chigger bites. They itch for sure!

And, people who contact chiggers get a number of bites, just as you have shown here.

In addition, the location on your legs is where the chiggers normally attack. And, being in a garden is a typical place to get bitten by chiggers.

See this webpage:

http://www.medicinenet.com/chiggers_bites/page4.htm

I would treat myself for chiggers.

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bewell1
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Thanks for the replies! Agreed about Chicago summers [Smile]

I would love this to be chiggers! Seems like relatively harmless if I read correctly. The itching is horrendous! What would you do to treat for this?

My brother thinks it's poison oak...would love that option too.

Just really hoping not something too harmful. Or fleas where i'd have to wonder about bart or other infection.

Hoping to get in to derm tomorrow so will keep you all posted! Any other insight is appreciated! [Smile]

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TF
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The website I gave you tells you how to treat. Try Benadryl for itching, etc.

For it to be poison oak, you would have had to come in contact with that particular plant. Look it up on the web. Usually, you will not have that plant anywhere near a garden.

Everything you said about how it happened and where it is on your body plus the itching all points to chiggers.

Call the owners of the garden and ask if they have chiggers. If they do, they should know it. Then, they can treat the garden so this doesn't happen anymore. It is terrible. Happened to a neighbor of mine who was weeding her flower bed. All over lower legs. Bad itching.

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Lymetoo
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chigger bites are very very itchy .. hope you get relief soon

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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bewell1
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Well I may have used the term garden loosely... my uncle cleared off the back of my grandparents property and had grown all kinds of vegetables etc and built a fantastic garden in that sense. I'm not sure he would be in tune with bugs because he's just unaware of the vector borne stuff. It was definitely wild prior and still even with all the plantings. I didn't walk in tall grass but was near.

I'm hoping for chiggers or poison Oak! Hopefully I can see derm tomorrow and will update

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Lymetoo
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I'm pretty sure it's not poison ivy!!

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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TF
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If it were poison oak, you would end up with large blisters that ooze liquid.

You don't have anything like that.

http://www.healthline.com/health/outdoor-health/poison-oak-pictures-remedies#Pictures2

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lookup
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Mosquito bites?

This will help it feel better:

Boericke and Tafel Ssssting Stop Topical Gel

https://www.amazon.com/Ssssting-Soothing-Citronella-Boericke-Tafel/dp/B0009ET526/ref=sr_1_2_s_it?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1469510747&sr=1-2&keywords=ssssting+stop

Good luck!

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Tincup
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So sorry you have had this experience. I do not know for sure what the rash is, so sorry. But...

Typically chiggers don't pop up and start itching that soon after contact. Nor does poison oak or poison ivy. "Typically".

Typically chiggers don't spread across your skin unless there were tons of them, but instead they like creases in skin, ankles, behind knees, or warm moist places, however, all of your skin would be warm in 100 degree weather.

Stinging nettles or other nettles (plants) can cause a wicked stinging, burning sensation shortly after contact. We don't usually consider plants (other than common poisonous ones) would cause problems.

They've set me on fire before several times- a fire a cold shower wouldn't help. And these plants look so innocent and are not really noticeable at all.

You may have had contact (brushed against) with a nest of small baby spiders?

Bumping up against a tomatoe plant can cash a real itchy reaction if you are allergic.

Here is a product guaranteed (by me) to help with the itching.

C-Medi Summer Gel

https://sites.google.com/site/marylandlyme/treatment/bug-bite-treatments

The second best would be this product (chiggers or not).

Chiggerex Plus Medicated Ointment 1.75oz
from Chiggerex

https://www.amazon.com/Chiggerex-Plus-Medicated-Ointment-1-75oz/dp/B004KVJBFK/ref=sr_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1469513518&sr=8-1&keywords=chigger-x

Hope you get answers and stop itching soon!

--------------------
www.TreatTheBite.com
www.DrJonesKids.org
www.MarylandLyme.org
www.LymeDoc.org

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tulips
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Some types of spiders can give you a raised bite like that that is really itchy. You can take Benedryl tablets and put Benedryl cream in them.
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tulips
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I've never had chigger bites that were raised like that but a sure test of whether or not they are chigger bites is this: If you put water on them, chigger bites feel like they are burning hot.

If you want it diagnosed for sure, you could not take anything nor put anything on them and try to get in to see a doctor or dermatologist in the morning.

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bewell1
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So I saw the derm and she said there is no way to distinguish if it's flea or chigger bites... There weren't animals that we saw other than a stray cat but the area was wild before it was cleared out.

The question now is to treat for possible vector borne illness like bartonella that fleas carry or assume it's chiggers which don't seem as much of a threat. The treatment for fleas would be Doxy or clarithromycin for 3 weeks.

I am at a loss of what to do. Doxy is tough in the summer. Also my gut was somewhat inflamed in June and is just getting better. What would you do?

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TF
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I just looked at a map of incidence of lyme in southeast Wisconsin, and it said that this was a low incidence of lyme area.

So, I definitely would wait and see if anything comes of this. No doxy for me.

I live in Maryland where lyme is rampant all over, and if I got what you have on the ankle area, I would just treat as chigger bites. No lyme or coinfection treatment for me without some evidence such as symptoms.

This assumes that you are currently symptom free and have a normal immune system. In other words, you are not catching every illness that comes along.

Do you have any evidence that bart is rampant in the fleas in southeast Wisconsin? If so, that could change my mind, but the evidence would have to be very compelling.

I was cured of lyme, bart, and babs over 11 years ago now and I remain symptom-free without any treatment whatsoever. I have the same life I had before lyme disease in spite of having steroid injections and oral steroids a few times since being cured.

I would still call your grandparents or uncle and ask if any of them have gotten chigger bites from being around that garden. If not, suggest they spray for chiggers so that they do not have to suffer like you are now suffering. You would be doing them a favor by suggesting this. Chiggers are terrible.

I know that fleas can live in a soiled carpet in a home that had cats, and also they can live in lumber outside where cats frequent. But, I have never heard of fleas living in a cleared out area turned into a garden. What is there that could be the flea habitat?

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Keebler
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-
"just looked at a map of incidence of lyme in southeast Wisconsin, and it said that this was a low incidence of lyme area." (end quote)

These maps can be terribly wrong about the chances of contracting lyme. Many states have too many doctors who dismiss lyme so if it's not acknowledged, of course, the map would look bare.

Each incident should always be considered independent of odds.

For what it's worth, chiggers can carry disease, too. I can't say what this rash is, just know that if it's from one or more biting critters, and if they might have bitten an animal or human prior, then disease spread should be considered.

You might take some allicin, berberine or other herb that has a broad spectrum of support.

Topically, also be sure whatever you choose has both soothing and antimicrobial ingredients.

Hopefully, this is a reaction to some kind of plant, though all possibilities should be considered.
-

[ 07-26-2016, 03:58 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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Keebler
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-
The oils of various plants (included those that can cause a rash) can last on benches, other surfaces. As you were wearing shorts and if you sat down you might consider what might have been on such surface.

Lawn chemical residue ?

Though, they do look like chigger bites I got in my youth when rolling around in the grass a lot. The photo is likely magnified, I assume.
-

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TF
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Regarding plant oils, consider where your bites/whatever are located--around the ankles and back of leg.

So, your ankle area and back of leg would have to have touched the plant or bench surface containing the oil.

Sometimes, folks with lyme can get paranoid. That can last a few years after you get rid of this horrendous disease. It did for me. But, now I believe I have a normal fear of contracting these diseases again. Try not to overreact to these bites. (Dermatologist considers them bites, correct?--and NOT caused by any plant.)

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TF
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And, consider this: if these were flea bites, you would have had the pain and itching of the bites as soon as they happened. Instantly.

So, you know instantly that you have been bitten by fleas.

Did you know instantly while you were in the garden that you were being bitten?

If not, then it is chiggers.

"A chigger bite itself is not noticeable. After the chigger has begun to inject digestive enzymes into the skin (usually after about 1-3 hours), symptoms and signs typically begin.

•Pronounced itching is the most common symptom.

•The area of the bite may be reddened, flat, or raised; sometimes it resembles a pustule or blister"

Quote is from the link I gave above.

So, if you only noticed the itching 1-3 hours after the episode in the garden, that tells you that these are chigger bites and not flea bites.

Hope this helps you.

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bewell1
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Thank you all for the replies! The info is super helpful.

TF - that is super helpful about distinguishing the two. I did not feel a sting right away. Rather when I got in the car and sat it started itching like crazy.

I am leaning towards not treating with antibx and working on my gut. I'm going to ramp up the herbs, lyme cocktail and antimicrobials. I also will probably get a UVBI tomorrow.

To answer your question, I am not at my healthiest. I was always great Lyme wise - probably always at least 95% myself, some remaining fatigue and was just trying to get more resilient…until spring of 2015 I was supposed to have homeopathic trigger point injections in my neck. harmless, did a lot of research on it. and had a few and a horrible reaction. the dr says they gave lidocaine and marcaine but other drs believe it is steroids…

then a whole host of symptoms started, started getting my regular cycle every weeks for a few weeks, abdominal cramps, weight loss, anxiety, some slight neuro stuff that subsided, rosacea came on. it has been awful. just met with my dr (in seattle) and lyme and cos are active as well as viral so everything is back and just need to rebuild again. beyond frustrating.

i never have reacted to any prescription prior to this, now it seems i do so that is why this decision is so important at the moment.

the "bites" i posted on my leg are almost gone. the ones on my ankles are getting smaller, red dots.

I'll sleep on it. But love all the opinions. The doctors really don't know that much many times!

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TF
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To build up your immune system so that you can get rid of lyme for good, do the Burrascano required exercise program.

It is one continuous hour of weightlifting every OTHER day. A full body workout each time--meaning arms, chest, back, abs, buttocks and legs. Study the discussion starting on page 31.

http://www.lymenet.org/BurrGuide200810.pdf

This type of exercise is what got me well. My Burrascano type doctor told me at the first appointment that I would NEVER get rid of lyme if I didn't do this. And, Burrascano says it too.

So, start doing this and see what a difference it will make. I think it is just what you need!

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